KENTUCKY vs. ULM
When: Saturday, Noon ET
Where: Commonwealth Stadium (62,093) Lexington, KY.
TV: SEC Network
Record: 4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference
Ranking: Not ranked (rv/rv)
Last game: W, vs. South Carolina 45-38
Coach: Mark Stoops (Iowa, 1989) 2nd Season at UK; 2nd season overall
Record: 3-2, 2-1 Sun Belt Conference
Ranking: Not ranked
Last game: L, at Arkansas State 28-14
Coach: Todd Berry (Tulsa, 1983) 5th season at ULM; 13th season overall
Overall: UK leads 3-1
In Lexington: UK leads 3-1
Last meeting: UK 36-13 in Lexington (Oct. 24, 2009)
KENTUCKY SCHEDULE, RESULTS:
8/30 UT Martin [SEC Network] W, 59-14
9/6 Ohio [ESPNU] W, 20-3
9/13 at Florida* [SEC Network] L, 30-36 3OT
9/27 Vanderbilt* [SEC Network] W, 17-7
10/4 South Carolina* [SEC Network] W, 45-38
10/11 ULM [SEC Network] Noon
10/18 at LSU* 7:30 ET [SEC Network]
10/25 Mississippi State* TBA
11/1 at Missouri* TBA
11/8 Georgia* TBA
11/15 at Tennessee* TBA
11/29 at Louisville TBA
All times ET; * SEC game
ULM SCHEDULE, RESULTS:
08/28 Wake Forrest W, 17-10
09/06 vs. Idaho* W, 38-31
09/13 at LSU L, 31-0
09/27 vs. Troy* W, 22-20
10/04 at Arkansas State* L, 28-14
10/11 at Kentucky 7:30 p.m.
10/25 vs. Texas State* 7 p.m.
11/01 at Texas A&M TBA
11/08 at Appalachian State* TBA
11/15 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette* 7 p.m.
11/22 at New Mexico State* 8 p.m.
11/29 at Georgia Southern* 6 p.m.
All times ET; * Sun Belt game
BIG BLUE KEYS TO THE GAME:
When Kentucky has the ball… The ULM staff has quite a guessing game to play. Do the Warhawks see more “Air Raid” with Patrick Towles taking strikes down the field or do they see more “WildKemp” formation with JoJo Kemp slashing through the line on direct snaps? Kentucky’s success with both styles have opened up a wealth of options for offensive coordinator Neal Brown. The hunch here is that UK goes with more of the former, but if ULM shows the ability to pressure Towles early and create negative yardage plays, keeping the Wildcats “behind the chains,” you could see an adjustment to the WildKemp at some point. The Warhawks use a unique 3-3 front with five DBs on the back end and disguise their pressure and coverages well. It will be a good test for the UK offensive line and backs identifying where the pressure is originating on each snap.
When ULM has the ball… Although the defense provided the game-winning score in last week’s upset of South Carolina, it was a rough film session on Monday when the staff broke down a long list of issues nagging the Cats. The biggest concern is the front seven’s play against the power running game. In particular, UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot wants to see linebackers Khalid Henderson and Josh Forrest more physical at the point of attack and making more stops around the line of scrimmage rather than 5-6 yards down the field. ULM has not run the ball well this season (2.7 ypc) so it’s important that they show drastic improvement this week with run-oriented teams like LSU, Mississippi State and Georgia looming on the SEC horizon. Pete Thomas (No. 14, 6-5, 235, Sr.), a former NC State quarterback with a build similar to UK's Towles, leads the Warhawks' offensive attack with 1,159 yards passing and five touchdowns with just two interceptions. Ajalen Holley (No. 21, 5-10, 192, Soph.) is a dangerous playmaker at receiver with a 20.9 yards per catch average and a team-high four TDs.
Senior defensive end Bud Dupree has 17.5 career sacks, needing 1.5 more to tie for second most in school history with Dennis Johnson (1998-2001). Dupree currently leads all active SEC players in sacks.
ON THIS DAY IN UK HISTORY:
Saturday marks the 16th time in program history that UK has played on October 11 with the Wildcats holding a 4-11 record on this date. The last time Kentucky won a game on Oct. 11 was 1969 when it posted a 7-6 win at Virginia Tech. Quarterback Bernie Scruggs scored the lone TD for the Cats.
• Kentucky is 4-1 for the first time since 2008 and for only the 11th time since 1950.
• The UK defense ranks high in several national categories, including: passing yards allowed (23rd), scoring defense (24th), team passing efficiency (13th) and turnovers gained (13th).
• The Cats have allowed only four plays of 30 yards or longer this season, good for second among all defenses nationally.
• Seventy-two percent of Kentucky’s points (123 of 171) have been scored by players who did not play last season.